, 2022-11-04 03:28:11,
Bruder never comes off the field on defense, is out there for every punt and kickoff return and plays about 75% of the offensive snaps.
“Guys like him don’t come around every year,” Elks coach Brent Ullery said. “I wish I could put my finger on what makes him so good, because I’d tried to coach it from my other guys if I could.”
Bruder’s numbers tell a lot of the story. He is the team’s second-leading receiver with 29 catches and first in yards with 498. He tied for second in the Greater Western Ohio Conference with four interceptions. He averages 16.5 yards on punt returns and 19.1 on kickoff returns. And he is the Elks’ leading scorer with nine touchdowns: six receiving, one rushing, one punt return, one interception.
As a sophomore, Bruder caught seven passes, didn’t play defense and returned only four punts. His role grew last year when Ullery asked more players to play both ways. Bruder caught 30 passes, including six touchdowns, and made three interceptions.
“One of his best characteristics is he’s super uber competitive,” Ullery said. “There’s nothing he doesn’t want to try to do. And there’s nothing that he doesn’t think he can’t do.”
Bruder said he’s always competed with his siblings and enjoys being competitive with his friends away from the fields doing things like disc golf. But on the field he says it’s his teammates that allow him to succeed.
“I understand that I have guys around me that are even better than me at their position,” he said. “It’s nice knowing that if I do my job 100% of the time, I know that they’re going to do their job even more to help me out.”
On offense, Ullery said the game plan every week involves new ways to get Bruder the ball.
“He was really good last year,” Ullery said. “We had no idea he was going to keep getting better and better this year. We come up with something new every week to try to get him the ball because he’s just so dynamic.”
Ullery said Bruder’s growth as a defender is helped because he uses his offensive knowledge to anticipate what the opponents will do.
“He just flourished, because he’s so smart, and so competitive, and he’s able to put himself in positions to be very successful,” Ullery said. “When you’re as good as he is and you’re as confident as he is, the game happens in slow motion.”
As a returner, Bruder has been a game-changer, especially in the season finale victory over Wayne.
“This year he’s just a menace…
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